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Best method for accurate lap joints

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by Belboz, 3 Jul 2014.

  1. Belboz

    Belboz

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    Hello all,

    Is there any advice you can give regarding making accurate lap joints please?

    Is the normal hand tool method (marking gauge, tenon saw, chisel) best or can good results be obtained with power tools (e.g. mitre saw then chisel)??

    Reason I ask is that I have some joinery work to do but I need to make sure that the joints are flush.

    Is it just a case of trial and error.

    Any tips would be very welcome.

    Thanks,

    B
     
  2. Nigel_Cro

    Nigel_Cro

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    Have a look on YouTube, but I use a router, makes a really neat job.
     
  3. Belboz

    Belboz

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    Thanks Nigel.

    I assume you made a jig for it?

    B
     
  4. Nigel_Cro

    Nigel_Cro

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    There are a number of YouTube vids that show how to make jigs.

    I tend not to use a jig, just a G Clamp and a piece of batten - works for me :D
     
  5. Belboz

    Belboz

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    Thanks very much Nigel.

    Have seen a lot of those jig vids on u-tube.

    I will give it a go with your method until I get proficient enough to be able to make them as near perfect as possible.

    :)
     
  6. Nigel_Cro

    Nigel_Cro

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    Just a word of caution...

    I don't usually build to joinery standards - joining two lumps of 4"x2" together is my usual use of a lap joint. Close enough is good enough.

    If you are making proper stuff, a face frame for a unit for example, I would use a jig.
     
  7. gregers

    gregers

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    decent chopsaw with a depth gauge for the saw blade,i cut my tennons this way aswell.
     
  8. skotl

    skotl

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    ^^ this ^^

    It wasn't lap joints, but I cut grooves into verticals to fit shelves by setting the depth gauge on my chop saw and doing repeated side-by-side cuts.

    Worked out very accurate (after a fair bit of trial-and-error for the right depth on some sacrificial wood) and much quicker than if I'd used a router.
     
  9. Norcon

    Norcon

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    A dado stack in the table saw will do it with a couple of threads holding it on combined with a sled. :LOL:
     
  10. pinenot

    pinenot

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    To answer this question correctly, answer first how many joints are there and answer whether it's worth setting any thing mechanical to achieve the job.
    A hand tool job is the easiest way for two or three joints, especially if the timber dimensions differ, as setting up a router/saw for correct depth etc. would have to be re-done for each different timber size for instance. Hand tools of course depend on your ability to use them but offer the easiest way to do the job if it's only two or three and again if the stock used is not identical. I could go on but...pinenot :)
     
  11. Belboz

    Belboz

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    Thanks to all those who replied.

    I am making some cabinet doors and looked at various options for joining the uprights and crossrails. Options were:

    dowel joints
    mitre and biscuit joint
    mitre then glue and pin
    tenons
    lap (half-lap) joints

    Given all the pros and cons, I was looking at the last option as the most suitable.

    There are quite a few doors to make so it's not just a case of 2 or 3 joints. However, the timber is all one size which makes it easier.

    I am relatively proficient with a router so potentially bulding a jig would be the best way to go I presume. If I clamped several pieces together, I could potentially router several at once.

    I have also seen the chop saw method but as my chop saw is fixed (no slide) I wouldn't be able to use this method without purchasing a sliding version.

    Thanks for all your help.

    B
     
  12. Norcon

    Norcon

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    A loose tennon jig is fairly easy to make for the router. Though I can shelve mine now as I've just acquired a Domino XL700. :D

    A lot of raised panel doors are made with a door panel set with the tennon being no longer than about 10mm. Some might question the durability of that.
     
  13. Belboz

    Belboz

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    That's a very nice bit of kit but a tad expensive for me!!

    I will need to try a few things before I decide what is the best and most dependable method.

    Thanks again.

    B
     
  14. gregers

    gregers

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    even if your chopsaw doesnt have a depth gauge it is still possible to do the job using one,just place a sacrificial piece of timber in front of the fence.you will still have to use a chisel to pair off the excess.
    as you say if you clamp them all together then if you have a skillsaw then set the depth you can use the method.
     
  15. Belboz

    Belboz

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    Thanks gregers.

    I think I am going to buy myself some new kit which will be suitable for what I need.

    I can then use that as an excuse when 'er indoors asks why I've bought ANOTHER new tool.............

    Why do women think that one tool will do everything???

    It's not as if they only buy ONE pair of shoes....

    :rolleyes:
     
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